In unprecedented move, Agong to interview each MP to determine who commands majority

Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin addresses members of the press at Istana Negara February 25, 2020. — Picture by Radzi Razak
Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin addresses members of the press at Istana Negara February 25, 2020. — Picture by Radzi Razak

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will interview all MPs one by one to ascertain who commands the majority of the Dewan Rakyat to become the next prime minister

Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a special media briefing at Istana Negara today that 90 MPs have already been called to the palace starting 2.30 pm.

The rest of them will be called tomorrow.

“The interview process will be done by the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, his majesty himself, and will be accompanied by Chief Secretary Datuk Seri Zuki Mohd Ali,” he told the press.

Ahmad Fadil said the process will be done under Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution, which handles the formation of the Cabinet.

He said that all the MPs will get two or three minutes of audience with the sovereign and the entire interview process today is expected to conclude by 7pm.

When asked what triggered the need for such interviewing process, the first of its kind in Malaysia, Ahmad Fadil said this is for the Palace to ensure that the process is done in a transparent manner as befitting the country’s constitution and laws as well as to stop wild speculations.

“This is done transparently so that the media does not speculate about what is happening.

“It is not known how long this process will take but we will keep in contact (with the media) from time to time,” he said.

The country is in political turmoil with the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration yesterday after Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped down as prime minister and resigned from his PPBM party post.

Yesterday, the Agong accepted Dr Mahathir’s resignation and then appointed him as interim prime minister.

Following the king’s decision, Dr Mahathir proceeded to dissolve his Cabinet.

Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa confirmed today that his party has formed a coalition with several others and have enough numbers to form a government.

Yesterday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the party was pulling out of Pakatan Harapan (PH), leaving the coalition with 92 out of 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and short of the 112 simple majority needed to continue as the government.

PKR also sacked their deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin over their role in organising a meeting with Umno and PAS MPs on Sunday.

Azmin then proceeded to announce that he and 10 other PKR MPs have exited the party to form a new “independent block” in Parliament.

On the same day, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng lashed out at the rogue MPs, accusing them of undermining democracy to pursue their own political ambitions but voice their support to Dr Mahathir to remain as the prime minister.

 

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